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News Release

Aug. 31, 2022

‘Occupy Valk’ series to feature panel discussions

The Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Northwest Missouri State University is continuing its “Occupy Valk” series this fall and incorporating panel discussions to explore topics facing American society.

During each week of the series, a panel of participants on and off Northwest’s campus will address an issue and its historical context.

“I am pleased that we are taking a panel approach this semester due to mid-term elections as a plurality of voices and perspectives can only help our students and the wider community make informed choices,” Dr. Dawn Gilley, an associate professor of humanities and the chair of the department, said. “We felt these topics were important enough and critical enough to provide an open forum for discussion.”

The idea for the series originates from the 1960s when faculty at colleges and universities organized teach-ins where professors spoke about historical, political or social justice issues. The first teach-in occurred at the University of Michigan in 1965 when faculty members and students gathered to hear speakers, have discussions and peacefully protest the Vietnam War. Since 1965, teach-ins have been used to connect social justice issues with academics, and they are part of the tradition of peaceful protest and activism.

The “Occupy Valk” series begins its fall schedule Thursday, Oct. 13, with a panel discussion, titled “Civil Disobedience and the Law.”

All sessions are 6 p.m. on Thursdays through Dec. 1 in Room 118 of Valk Center. The series also will be livestreamed on the Humanities and Social Sciences at Northwest Facebook page and archived on the department’s YouTube channel.

“We’ve chosen this year to tackle the ‘big’ issues facing American society – protests, women’s rights, gun violence,” Gilley said. “The titles are provocative for a reason as we wanted to convey the importance of these issues.”

The complete fall schedule is provided below.

  • Oct. 13 – “Civil Disobedience and the Law: A Panel Discussion”
  • Oct. 27 – “Women Under Attack: Humanities and Social Sciences Women’s Caucus”
  • Nov. 17 – “What the Actual F@#K? School Violence: A Panel Discussion from the Front Lines”
  • Dec. 1 – “What Does It All Mean?: Living a Meaningful Life: Northwest Emeriti Faculty”


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215